Interesting day as we all waited to find out if we would be striking in the summer over pay. The morning started with a speech by our new president Beth Davis – full text to follow. Beth reminded us of the impact of the attacks on the profession on the young people and children who we teach.
We then moved onto OFSTED and we agreed to continue to look for ways to not participate in these inspection as in Northern Ireland (inspection walk outs?) OFSTED was acknowledged as the battering ram for privatisation specifically but more generally the motive for increased observations and bullying in general in schools.
We heard about victories in Ealing and current fights in Waltham Forest and Croydon and vowed as a union to fight them every time every where.
A National Campaign For Education
The NUT needs to have a way to work with parents and other stakeholders on what education should be and look like. It was agreed that the union would use its resources to get this necessary campaign off the ground.
Lunchtime meeting – Campaign Teacher
Primary/Secondary Curricular changes were discussed in a brief lunchtime meeting which fed into the afternoon session.
After a lively debate on GCSEs in which we congratulated ourselves on the NUT’s lead in this campaign we wanted to extend it into the curricular changes coming soon most notably in Primary and in the lower status of Citizenship and PSHCE. The Ladybird History curriculum was also heavily criticised. There will be a Primary Teacher Conference in June in London details to follow.
Then it was time for the big one – the pay debate:
In the second amendment strike action this term in June was put to conference and despite it being well argued conference decided 60:40 to continue with regional strikes with the NASUWT building to a national strike in the autumn.
Anti-Academies Alliance meeting post conference
We heard from the teachers at Alec Reed Academy Ealing and their victory against a bullying academy regime after taking sustained strike action over a number of days. We also heard from a number of campaigns in which whether they won or lost the fight had ramifications and that the war can be won despite battles being lost as other schools consider whether it would be worth the pain and media coverage involved in fighting these forced academies. Alasdair Smith National Secretary reminded us that the answer was national action, combining the fights within a National Campaign FOR Education. Kevin Courtney reminded us that the ASOSA is exposing bullying heads everywhere. Heads who bully heads are bullies who also bully pupils – we have the support of parents